First Aboriginal Employee Network kicks off

First Aboriginal Employee Network kicks off

WesCEF was proud to hold its first Aboriginal Employee Network event for employees from its greater Perth based businesses in November 2020. The event offered the opportunity for Aboriginal employees to get to know each other and develop a support network, and was attended by the Wesfarmers Managing Director. 

The initiative, which will be a bi-annual event, is designed to not only grow Aboriginal employee relationships across the business, but also build on WesCEF’s safe and inclusive work environment for Aboriginal team members. 

Organised by WesCEF’s Aboriginal Engagement Team, the Network agenda included professional development topics, cultural elements and networking activities. 

WesCEF CEO Ian Hansen, in his welcome address, said he wanted to ensure every Aboriginal employee working within the business felt valued.  

“Having an event like this is important as it brings together our Aboriginal employees who would not normally cross paths in their roles. It’s a chance for them to get to know each other over time and establish their own support network of colleagues,” he said.  

“The get together also enables us to hear their thoughts about how WesCEF can continue to support them at work and how best they can be assisted with career development and training opportunities.” 

Indigenous Communications Cadet Jessica Rodriquez-James welcomed the chance to meet fellow Aboriginal team members and was curious about who she would meet.  

“I didn’t realise how many Indigenous team members were spread across the businesses – from human resources and procurement teams to our operational teams at CSBP and Kleenheat. Everyone was relaxed and friendly and I’m looking forward to the next catch-up,” Jessica said. 

Ian emphasised it was his wish that each person in the Network continued to grow in their respective roles and learn.  

“I started with CSBP over 38 years ago as a young chemist in Albany. I’ve seen a lot of change and growth within the business during that time and our ability to attract people from different origins and cultures has grown too.  

It’s a priority to me that at WesCEF, we are not only able to attract Aboriginal people to work with us, but we also have the right culture and practices in place that they want to stay with us.” 

In another first, WesCEF developed an Aboriginal ‘Expressions of Interest’ candidate pool that currently consists of 58 candidates the business can draw upon when a job opportunity arises. WesCEF plans to advertise throughout the year for expressions of interest from Aboriginal people who would like to work for the business, where they can nominate their field of expertise or an area they would like to gain experience in.